Productivity means different things to everyone. For some, it means the amount of work that they get done in a day. Others may judge their productivity by how quickly they get things done, and for some, just finishing one task may feel like a feat. No matter how you define it, one thing is for certain: we all want to be productive.
There is no shortage of tips online on how to be more productive. With just a quick Google search, you’ll find millions of articles doling out advice on how to be constructive with your time. We’re adding a really important tip into the mix: meditation. Yes, doing nothingfor a couple minutes will actually help you get more done.The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is the method of training the mind to develop concentration, sharpen awareness, and to encourage emotional clarity. Meditation helps transform our thoughts making us more compassionate. After practicing regularly our relationship to our environment becomes healthier and gradually changes our behavior for the better. Studies have shown that regular meditation is beneficial for people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.
“We tend to be time travelers in our mind, often off in the future, worrying, ‘what if-ing,’ planning, anticipating, etc. Or stuck in the past, regretting, resenting, wallowing, etc. This is the stuff of anxious and depressive tendencies. When we ground into the present moment through mindfulness we’re no longer time traveling, but instead right here, right now. And the more we practice being here and now, the less anxious or depressed we feel,” said Shriri Macri, Primary Therapist for Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating.
Aside from improving our mental wellbeing, meditation has also been proven to improve our physical health. According to one study, mindfulness and meditation can reduce chronic pain to 90%. This is because it soothes the brain patterns that define pain and eventually changes the structure of the brain itself so that patients no longer feel pain with the same intensity. A lot of pain clinics now prescribe meditation to help individuals with illnesses including cancer.
There are studiesthat confirm that meditation helps reduce the risk of hypertension and lessen the severity of common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and muscle pain. Additionally, meditation can help improve our immune system. According to a recent study published in the Translational Psychiatry journal. “Meditation is one of the ways to engage in restorative activities that may provide relief for our immune systems, easing the day-to-day stress of a body constantly trying to protect itself,” stated Rudolph Tanzi, one of the authors of the study.Doing More by Doing Nothing
There has been copious research done which proves the benefits of meditation to our health, mind and overall happiness.There is also evidence that meditation can improve one’s capability to be more productive.
- Increases focus and attention– Mindfulness is defined as paying attention in the present moment and this trait is sharpened through meditation. A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests the regular practice of meditation can improve one’s mental focus. Compared to non-meditators, people who regularly meditate are better equipped to quiet brain activity and are less susceptible to mind-wandering. Additionally, one study found that four days of meditation training is already enough to enhance one’s ability to sustain attention.
- Improves memory– After several sessions of meditation training, participants of one study with no prior meditation experience reported to have had improvements in their working memory. It is the part of the brain responsible for immediate conscious processing.
- Improves creativity– Meditation has been proven to improve one’s creativity. It stimulates the neocortex, the part of the brain responsible for creative thinking.
Some people view meditation as a luxury, not a necessity and find it hard to make time to practice.
For most, it takes time to master meditation. It’s an exercise for the mind and the same way you train a muscle you have to constantly work at it for it to become stronger. With just a couple of minutes a day, you can practice meditating until it becomes a habit.
Here are some simple tips that will help you get started.
- Breathe– The basic idea of meditation is concentrating on your breathing. Sit down in a comfortable place and turn your mind to your breath. Take your time breathing in and out and turn it into conscious action.
- Start slow– If you have no prior meditation experience, you don’t have to start with a 10-minute session right away. Start sitting down for two minutes. Gradually increase your meditation time. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself wanting more than ten minutes of meditation.
- Let your thoughts pass by– There will be moments during your session that thoughts will be jumping in and out of your mind. Don’t let yourself be attached to those thoughts. But if your mind wanders, that’s okay too. Simply focus your attention on your breathing again.
Meditation is a simple yet challenging practice. But through it, we get to learn more about ourselves by being present with our thoughts. Becoming more mindful will help you become focused and able to accomplish more.
Guided Meditations on BOLDFISH Mind
Originally appeared on www.goboldfish.com